Zero Waste Shopping Success

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I have had the best Zero Waste Shopping day ever.  Okay. It’s like my third Zero Shopping day. But this has been a really successful shopping day in terms of packaging.

My husband is busy working on a friends album in Pretoria, so my daughter and I went to Pretoria, and stayed over at the studio. On our way back home I bought the most beautiful second hand glass jars from Bellbottoms, an awesome antique store in Pierneef Street. I then passed by Carl’s Coffee, in 18th street, to fill up on some coffee beans. They were willing to put the beans directly into my glass jars. Continue reading

Danél – 1. Waste – 0. Frustration – 10.

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It was all going really well.  In fact I was on top of the world.  No waste for one day. Oh yes. Golden star. 100%. Noddy badge. Difference maker etc etc. I had bought two take away cappuccino in my own EcoSoulife Cafe Traveler, refused my cash slips and placed my take away in my own cotton serviette. Day 1 was a breeze. What could possibly go wrong. Continue reading

Zero Waste: ready, steady, throw

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The less you have, the less you have to worry about ||Gautama Buddha||

So it has now been about 10 days since starting this new Zero Waste Home lifestyle.

Step 1: Decluttering our home.

We live in a  very small house on a beautiful farm near Walkerville, Gauteng. Our house does not have any built in closets. Actually, it doesn’t really have any cupboards. So when  we moved there from a rather large home (5 bedrooms) in Pretoria, in June 2016,  all our ‘stuff’ had to fit into our new home. Needless to stay, it didn’t. Not even half. So we went European and made everything we thought we needed (thought) fit. We put things under, on top, behind, and everywhere we could find an open space.  My clothes couldn’t fit in my loose standing closet, so there were things stacked on top.  The closet didn’t really fit into the room either.  We placed the rest in storage.

Now, the problem with this clever Europeanization of our home is that it became extremely cluttered. Constantly having to bend down and reach under the bed for something became really frustating. The house became untidy because it was too much trouble to place things back where they belonged.  A little cockroach family moved in, along with a lot of dust. We found a Rinkhals (very poisonous snake) right outside our house. A rat in our daughter’s room. A blind snake under my sink (not dangerous, but hey) and many frogs. Clutter + animals = Great hiding and breeding spots.

WE HAD TO DECLUTTER. Continue reading

Zero Waste. Zero Waste. Zero Waste.

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A few months ago, as I was throwing another non-recyclable object into our small general waste bin I suddenly became very frustrated and discouraged.

At that point I was recycling and using cloth diapers (mostly), but it all suddenly felt like I was not really making such a big difference after all.  I always felt so good about myself when dropping my recyling off at Pikitup, or when paying Open Sky Recyling to pick my recycling up from our curb when we were still living in Rietondale, Pretoria. But I was still sending bin after bin to the landfill, week after week, in a plastic bag, filled with plastic bags.

“I guess you can’t win” I said to my husband.

Then about a month later I was discussing my interest in having a capsule closet with my sister in law, she shared a Tedtalk by Bea Johnson about her Zero Waste Home with me. In the video Bea mentions her capsule closet of 15 items, BUT, she mainly discusses ZERO WASTE. Here I would like to shout and if I could add a sound clip I would.

ZERO WASTE. ZERO WASTE. ZERO WASTE. Continue reading

Dood van die Onskuldiges

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 Bloedkolson rol oor die rand

Karoovlakwind sny koud
Blikkeëls roep: Onskuldig! Onskuldig!
Laksman wag by die sout

Veroordeelde kom op die wa
Daar’s geen gespot of gespoeg
Hangoortjies kopwip oor die klip
Bene vas maar daar’s geen gewroeg

Lemmetjie skerp op stompe klip
Japieskapiehond is lus
Bloedspoorpote met watermond
Gevoniste: Onbewus

Dan snel skerp lem deur woltaai vel
Voetjies spartel en skop
Bloed roggel en spuit en drup
Liggaam verwyder van kop

Velletjie van bossieskaap geskil
Blaas gaan na die hond
Drolletjies uit vetderm geryg
Grassies sit nog in die mond

Die dood van langstert-skapie-mê:
Vir vleisies vet en rooi
Wat wynvlektande deur kan byt
Beentjies vir woef gegooi

***

Die grootlewergans
Die afkeelskaap
Servet op die skoot,
Voor my sagte Fois Gras

Die afkophoender
Die penkop bees
“Ek wil nie weet nie,
Ek wil net eet.”

Is dit reg?

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Ek draf gewoonlik altyd dieselfde roete. ‘n 5km roete, deur sering-, witstinkhout-, en jakarandalanings. By ‘n styl bult op en darem ook weer af. Die roete gaan verby ‘n groot park, en ‘n laerskool en eindig weer by ons huis.
Een Woensdagoggend draf ek wéér dié ou bekende roete. Ek draf verby ‘n man in sy kar wat, met ‘n sigaret in sy mond, besig is om sy kinders skool toe te neem. Die venster is ‘n skrefie oop sodat hy die as kan afskud. “Is dit reg?” dink ek. “Is dit reg om te rook terwyl jou kinders in die kar sit?”. Ek skud my kop en draf verder.
Ek draf verby die O.R Tambo gebou of die Departement van Internasionale Betrekkinge.Ek sien die weeldige gebou wat uittoring bo die huise soos Nkandla. Ek sien die oordadige pilare, die tuine. “Is dit reg?” dink ek. “Is dit reg om miljoene rande te spandeer aan ‘n gebou terwyl ander kripeer van die honger?”. Ek skud my kop en draf verder.
Ek draf verby ‘n ‘ondergrondse’ bordeel wat tans ‘n groot probleem in ons buurt is. ‘n Vrou staan in ‘n kort rokkie buite die hek en rook. Sy lyk moeg. “Is dit reg?” dink ek. “Is dit reg vir ‘n vrou om haar lewe so weg te gooi? Het sy geen skaamte nie?”. Weer skud ek my kop, sodat sy dit sien, en draf verder.
Ek draf verby ‘n babakliniek waar babas hul inentings kan ontvang. Ek dink aan die hele pro- en anti-inenting debat. “Is dit reg?” dink ek. “Is dit reg om nie jou kinders in te ent nie, en dan die sameleweing in gevaar te stel?”.
So draf ek verder. Verby mense se huise, mense sonder huise. Swart mense, wit mense, bruin mense. Mense met babas, met stootwaentjies, met dra-sakke. Mense met babas met bottels, mense wat hul babas borsvoed. Mense op pad werk toe, mense op pad van die werk af. Verby laggende mense, fronsende mense, uitdrukkinglose mense. Mense in karre, mense op fietse, mense op voete. Ek draf en draf met my ‘is-dit-reg-gedagtes’. Is dit reg om jou rommel net daar te strooi? Is dit reg vir jou hond om net daar te poef, en dit nie op te tel nie? Is dit reg vir daai twee mans om so hand-aan-hand in die openbaar te loop? Is dit reg? Is dit reg? Is dit reg? Tot ek naderhand so moeg gehardloop en ‘ge-is-dit-reg’ is dat ek voor die Laerksool moét stop om asem te skep.
Daar kry ek twee jillende seuntjies op hul fietse voor die skool. Hul wil resies jaag voor die klok lui, en stel ‘n ander seun, met iets wat lyk soos ‘n handboek in sy hand, aan as skeidsregter. Hy word aangesê om by die denkbeeldige wenstreep te gaan staan sodat hy die wenner kan aanwys. Hy begin rustig stap om sy posisie in te neem, wat omtrent ‘n 100m verder by die sypaadjie af is. “Vinniger, hardloop!” skree die opgewonde fietsruiters vir hom. Hy neem ‘n effe meer doelgerigte stappie aan, maar skree dan terug: “Ek kan nie hardloop nie, ek het ‘n woordeboek in my hand!”.
Ek gaan staan uitasem stil en besef ewe skielik waarom ek so moeg is. Ek hardloop al heel oggend met ‘n woordeboek in my hand. Ek is so gatvol vir hierdie ‘is-dit-reg-gedagtes’ wat al ewig ‘n ysterbal om my enkel is en skeiding bring tussen my en die mense om my. Ek wil eerder vra: “het dit iets met my te doen?”, “wat kan ek doen om dit te verander?”, “wat kan ek leer?”, “is dit liefde?”, “bring dit lewe?”, “is dit goed?”, “is dit God?”.

 

Ek draf die laaste kilometer vinniger as ooit huis toe, my voete voel lig en ek is skaars uitasem. Toe ek by die huis aankom is my woordeboek se blaaie al nat, stink, en geel geblyk deur die vrot appels wat onder in die asblik gelê het voor die laerskool.

Bitterhoop

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Die vrou drink haar swart koffie
Die suiker op die rak
‘n Alwyn in haar agterplaas
‘n Pomelo in ‘n bak

Die gouwsblomme is almal dood,
hul is droog en hul koppe hang
Al water wat daar nou nog is,
is die trane oor haar wang

Die aandblomme leef egter nog
Oop as die maan verskyn
In die donker nag en droë grond
Spierwit in die vrou se tuin

Sy drink weer haar swart koffie
Die suiker op die kas
Die gouwsblomme skiet buite saad
Daar’s ‘n aandblom in ‘n glas